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Responding to problems importing data into Statistics. Scrubbing data.

Technote (troubleshooting)


How to respond to problems when importing data into Statistics.


Statistics may exhibit a number of different error messages when failing to import data from other file formats due to problems with the file or data in the file.


There are multiple causes.


Any environment.

Diagnosing the problem

A file fails to import or import properly. A number of errors and/or program behaviors can present when the failure occurs.

Resolving the problem

The procedure described here is *not* a resolution. The procedure only one part of the process of evaluating unexpected file open/save behaviors. The procedure is provided for *diagnostic* purposes only. The procedure attempts to determine whether one or more unexpected behaviors occurring when opening and/or saving a file is based in the *file* or the *software*.

If the file is not a comma-delimited (*.csv) file:

(1) Open the file in the original software used to create the file (e.g. Excel, Statistics, etc).
(2) Save the files as a 'comma delimited' file with a 'csv' extension.
(3) Open the file in Statistics using the Read Text Data Wizard.

If the problem is with a comma-delimited (*.csv) file:

(1) Open and save the *.csv file in a program compatible with Statistics (e.g. Excel).
(2) Open the resulting non-comma-delimited-Statistics-compatible file in Statistics. Note: It may be necessary to try multiple different Statistics-compatible programs/formats before finding a file type that removes whatever incorrect code or data is causing the file to exhibit unexpected behavior.

If, after performing the appropriate version of the procedure, the file(s) previously exhibiting unexpected behaviors no longer do so, then the behavior is *not* based in the product software but in the file(s).

If, after performing the appropriate version of the procedure, the unexpected behavior remits, this does *not* mean that the file has been 'fixed'. The procedure may or may not result in changes to data or data structure that may or may not have adverse effects on analyses performed on the procedure. Use of files that no longer exhibit unexpected behaviors after performing the appropriate diagnostic procedure is not recommended and not supported by IBM SPSS.

Related information

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Document information

More support for: SPSS Statistics
Statistics Desktop

Software version: Not Applicable

Operating system(s): Platform Independent

Reference #: 1645908

Modified date: 07 September 2016